Olivia Poole

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Olivia Poole
BornApril 18th, 1889
Devils Lake, Ramsey County, North Dakota, USA
DiedOctober 10, 1975 (aged 86)
Ganges, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Other namesSusan Olivia Poole
Known forInventing Jolly Jumpers

Susan Olivia Poole (1889–1975) grew up in Minnesota at the White Earth Indian Reservation.[citation needed] Poole invented the Jolly Jumper, in Canada, a baby jumper, in 1910, but it was not until 1948 that they were produced for the retail market.they are manufactured in Ontario, Canada.[1] By 1957, the Jolly Jumper was patented[1] and became a success with parents everywhere.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1889 in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, Poole grew up in Minnesota at the White Earth Indian Reservation. She was part Ojibway or Chippeway. At a young age, she observed how women would strap babies to cradle boards, a practice called “papoose”. While working in the fields, she also observed how mothers would hang their papooses on tree branches, using leather straps, as a medium for a soft bouncing motion.


Poole was a very talented pianist. She studied music at Manitoba, Canada’s Brandon College.

Personal life[edit]

Poole married and had seven children, the first a boy named Joseph. After his birth, she began putting a swing together that resembled the practice she remembered as a young girl. After her invention, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband in 1942.


Poole used a broom handle and cloth diaper in her first attempts at creating the swing that is now known as “The Jolly Jumper”. The broom handle was used as a suspension bar and the diaper for a harness. In 1948, her family convinced her to take the swing commercially. She was awarded a patent in 1957, with the help of her son Joseph. She later established Poole Manufacturing Co., Ltd. The pain point of the innovation she was addressing, while coming up with this device was discomfort in babies and their crying. From her observation, she used a method that worked and improved upon it, using the same concept but making it more flexible and accessible to others. She later became the first Indigenous woman to receive a Canadian patent.

Later years[edit]

In 1975, Poole passed away at the age of 86 on October 10 1975 (aged 86) in Ganges, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada. She is buried at Royal Oak Burial Park Cemetery in Victoria, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada. Her invention is still being sold today, long after her death. The Jolly Jumper can hang from anything from doorways to a clamp or a metal frame. There are over 200 items manufactured under the Jolly Jumper name, including potty trainers, baby accessories, car seats, etc. These items can be purchased all across North America and online.


  1. ^ a b "History". Jolly Jumper. Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

Dubé, D. (2017, June 29). How one Canadian woman changed the parenting game with this baby invention. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from


MIT Program. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/olivia-poole

Passport 2017. (2017, October 19). Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://passport2017.ca/articles/shout-susan-olivia-poole

Susan Olivia Davis Poole. (2018, April 11). Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/188724269/susan-olivia-poole